EMDR - Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
After 10 years of practice, I realized that there was some material that talking alone wasn’t addressing quickly enough. I decided to train in an additional modality, EMDR, that targets traumatic events and resolves them directly.
In the last decade, EMDR has gained acceptance as one of the primary modes of treatment for US war veterans with operational stress injury (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). It has also gained acceptance in mainstream psychological circles, proving to be an effective and efficient approach to relieving clients of the burden of traumatic experiences.
Traumatic experience and memory can take many forms. Sometimes, it is a discrete event, like a car accident. The memory of the event may be so disturbing that it is intolerable to talk about or engage in. A client may also have nightmares, flashbacks and anxiety that is related to the event or just about anything else.
Traumatic experience can also take the form of chronic repetitive experiences. Each one in itself is not overwhelming but the accumulation creates a traumatic response that is just as overwhelming as a single larger event. Examples may include parental neglect, bullying or chronic derision and disrespect in any important relationship.
The pain, sense of stuck-ness and depression that results from unresolved trauma can drive us to unhealthy coping such as substance abuse. It may also cause us to disengage from important relationships because they may seem dangerous. The resulting isolation is a major cause of depression and other diagnosable mental disorders.
EMDR targets a memory of an event or series of events and engages the brain in a mode of processing that just talking can’t always match. The level of distress at the target memory reduces until the memory is a neutral one. There is no more charge to it. The client’s natural ability to cope is reengaged and a more positive cycle begins.
For more detailed information, take a look at www.emdria.org.